Dr Emma Tebbs
Member of staff, Department of Geography, King's College London.
Emma is a remote sensing scientist with a passion for research which addresses issues of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Emma first went to Kenya as an undergraduate in 2008 and fell in love with its wildlife, landscapes and people. She then returned for her PhD research to collect field measurements in remote Rift Valley lakes. Alongside her research Emma worked closely with local communities and developed lasting friendships.
My PhD fieldwork took me to remote soda lakes in the East African Rift Valley, in Kenya and Tanzania, where I collected ‘ground-truth’ measurements for validating satellite imagery. These soda lakes often support large flocks of Lesser Flamingos that can number up to one million birds, producing an impressive spectacle when observed against the dramatic backdrop of the East African Rift. My talk will cover my experiences travelling and working in Kenya during my PhD and beyond. I will describe my adventures including close encounters with wildlife, logistical challenges, vehicle troubles, and experiences dealing with bureaucracy and political instability. Most of my field trips took place at Lake Bogoria, Kenya, and here I built close relationships with local communities and developed lasting friendships. I took groups of students from Leicester University out to Bogoria to work with local communities on sustainability themed projects. During my fieldtrips I visited local schools and helped them with fundraising activities. I also developed an educational resource – The Sustainability Game – which is based on the environment around Lake Bogoria.